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About this blog

Ohio State graduate Peter Braun's 2014 internship at Mount Juliet Golf Club, Co.Kilkenny, Ireland

Entries in this blog

 

TPC Sawgrass Players Championship Volunteer

Being called the 5th major tournament is one thing, but to play and look like one is much harder. TPC Sawgrass Stadium course was very well conditioned making for a fantastic finish. from eventual winner Ricky Fowler. The volunteer program at TPC Sawgrass is only 5 years old, but is so well run that Superintendents come from all over the world to be part of the amazing agronomy team for the tournament.      For the tournament over 70 volunteers came to help from places as close as Georgia a

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Hobbiton: Magic in The Shire

New Zealand is home to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy movies. Peter Jackson sought out the best place for the movies and decided on New Zealand. He really enjoyed the Alexander sheep farm where he had a vision for The Shire, home of the hobbits, to be built and filmed. What a place it is! The tour took me around the Shire explaining parts of the filming, locating, and tour process. Below is some of the history and information I was told.      Located in Matamata, Hobbiton as it is

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Ruakuri Cave, Another Kiwi House

The second part of the trilogy package was at Waitomo. Here there are caves and many of them. In these caves and in the area are glowworms. Worms that give off a glow in the dark kinda like a firefly, but with no movement. Neat to see and can be found in the wild on sides of rocks and near rivers. You can save a few dollars and go looking for them.      At the Waitomo Glowworm cave I got to see what the cave looked like as I walked around it with the guided tour. I was fortunate to have a h

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

The Redwoods and Te Puia & Te Pō

Rotorua and the area is named the Bay of Plenty as it has many resources such as timber, water, and geothermal heat. Due to Earth's crust being much closer to molten magma at only 6km down and having water at 4km down lots of steam builds up. This creates pressure that needs to be released so a geyser was formed. This has brought up lots of sulphur and the area has a distinct smell like rotten eggs where the steam is released.    The Redwood forest has a few hikes ranging from a half hour to a

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a very popular 19km day walk in New Zealand as the scenery is amazing and many scenes and locations in Lord of the Rings were filmed here. However this is not the easiest and can be dangerous. As I found out today the crossing can be extremely windy at higher elevations making it cold as well. This hike can be done from either end to the other, but transport is needed in between. I was lucky to stay at a lodge with a shuttle so I got first class service to and fr

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Cook Straight Ferry

Lots of driving, a ferry ride and a walk around. I did not have anything planned today, but to take the Cook Straight Ferry from Picton to Wellington. After walking around the beautiful harbor town of Picton I got on the ferry for my 1:15 ride. The ferry ride was just over 3 hours and the ferry was very cool. From wireless internet for purchase, to food courts, and even a movie theater the ferry ride has everything for anyone. In some areas there were tv's setup that could be watched. The ride w

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Pancake Rocks, National Kiwi Centre, Seal Colony

Today I headed to the National Kiwi Centre, the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, and a Seal colony. Not a bad day for it and an easy drive up the coast. Tonight I have stopped in Nelson and am spending the night at a backpackers.      The National Kiwi Centre is more than just Kiwi's. There are fish, frogs, a lake for catching crayfish, and the second most popular attraction, eels. The eels are in a large tank where they can swim around, eat, and relax. All of the 40 eels are females. I got to s

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Heading up the West Coast

Heading out of Arrowtown I took the Crown Range to Wanaka and the West Coast. Before the crack of dawn I left the place I had called home for the past 6 months. I enjoyed my time and will have memories for a lifetime. Today I had planned to go to the Franz Joseph Glacier where you can see the terminal face and the the West Coast Treetop Walk.        At Franz Joseph Glacier, after a long four hour drive up the West Coast through Mount Aspiring National Park and Westland Tai Poutini Nation

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Mount Cook

Standing at 3,754m (12,316ft) Mt. Cook is New Zealand's tallest mountain. At that height the mountain is in snow all year round making for great views and pictures any time of the year. That is if the weather holds up. I have been told that Mt. Cook can be hard to see at times. One guy told me, "you could come up here 6 times and never see her." Well I guess I was lucky because I could see Mt. Cook all day and around 1:30pm the clouds behind left giving an even more spectacular view of the peak.

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Next Stop Antarctica

New Zealand is one of the furthest countries south. So at the bottom edge there is nothing but water till you reach Antarctica. Stewart Island is part of New Zealand and further, but for main land New Zealand this is the furthest you can go before crossing water. So there have been a few sign posts made that show how far to the South Pole, the Equator, and a few cities.   Slope Point is the actual furthest point south for New Zealand, even though Stirling Point gets more attention. Both were f

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Ben Lomond

Queenstown is home to many great hiking trails. I have done most of the trails around Arrowtown and one that went to Queenstown, but had yet to do the Ben Lomond hike. After looking at the weather for the weekend today seemed to be the best day for it. At first I was not sure if I picked right as clouds and mist came crawling into the canyon, but once I got high enough and some wind picked up most of the rainy stuff left.      Ben Lomond can be accessed two ways: through the One Mile Powerh

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

A Day in Arrowtown

Living in the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown was great. The hiking was incredible and just outside my backdoor. Getting off the trails and into the heart of little Arrowtown there are a few things I had not done, but needed to do.     The Arrowtown Chinese Settlement is an interactive depiction of life during the gold rush for Chinese settlers. Most immigrants who came to the Otago region in the 1800s were looking for gold. Arrowtown was very popular due to the Arrow River flowing t

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

My Final Day at The Hills

My final day of work at The Hills for Brendan Allen is finished. I cleaned out my locker, said good bye to the guys, and am ready for my trip to Auckland through the west coast. Working at The Hills was a pleasure. There is a great bunch of guys on the crew and that only improved the experience for me. The closeness of everyone is really unique to find in such a large crew. That only makes work easier. I wish everyone the best to their future endeavors.    I cannot thank Brendan enough for tak

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Millbrook Resort and Jack's Point

Millbrook Resort is laid out just down the road from The Hills and co-hosted the BMW NZ Open. Today I got a tour of the course from Superintendent James O'Malley. After working in the pro shop he eventually moved to the golf maintenance where he did his apprenticeship. Now he is the Superintendent of 27 holes and 500 acres of property. Millbrook is a large resort club catering to all types of people. To keep the properties and buildings in good condition there are hundreds of employees. Lunches,

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

BMW NZ Open: The Aftermath

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p99td6O36_s   Well the pressure of the NZ Open is off, but now not for the course. The beating the course takes for a tournament is tremendous. On a course like the Hills there are areas where crowds have very little places to go so wear patterns appear. This will recover, but will take some time. The golfers as well are funneled into some areas, but for the most part those areas look fine. Even the greens do not look too bad a week after; by only mowing twice s

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

BMW NZ Open: Day 7

The final day has ended. The last putt holed and everyone gone home. I know I keep saying it, but players and officials just loved The Hills all week. I really enjoyed working the tournament and getting to see the course change from brown/yellow and dreary to green and sharp. This was the first time I got to experience working at a course hosting a tournament that year and I was impressed. The hard work that went into making the course look great was justified seeing the television coverage. Hat

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

BMW NZ Open: Day 6

Today did not feel like a Saturday. I guess that is what happens when you work long hours and are on a different schedule anyways. What a day for golf though! The course really pops when the sun shines. Greens got firmer so speeds did not fall too much. We only cut greens tonight, no rolling, to keep speeds constant. I had a nice wander around the course watching some golf and taking a few pictures.    The 19th Hole     Sir Michael Hill Received the Keys to Arrowtown   Massive Porta

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

BMW NZ Open: Day 5

The day before the cut day went very smoothly. Morning jobs are finishing quicker and quicker and in the evening nothing broke down. To speed up greens some were double cut in the morning, others just cut and all rolled. Since tomorrow is after the cut over all players are better so greens were cut in the night to get greens a little faster for tomorrow.    For the tournament 4:30 mornings are very dark till about 7 so cutting cups would be very hard. To combat this they are cut the night befo

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

BMW NZ Open: Day 4

Sorry for the delay. After a long day at the course I went to bed once I got home. I write this just after morning jobs have been completed and breakfast served. Yesterday was a great opening round. The course is looking great and everyone has raved about it. Following morning session I went out to see some golf. The format of two professionals and two amateurs makes for some interesting golf. At times the amateurs have better shot than the professionals, but usually not. There was even a hole-i

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

BMW NZ Open: Day 3

Just a quick blog with some photos tonight. The last day before the opening round of the BMW NZ Open was a long one. Work went from 5:30am to 7:45pm. A long day for all, but the last bits of the course were cleaned up. After mowing collars in the morning I helped finish filling divots on fairways, then worked on the range water race cleaning that up and finally cut down some willows growing on number five pond. One of the reasons for the practice day is to have any problems or issues fixed. For

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

BMW NZ Open: Day 2

Another day finished and the course keeps looking better and better. Everything was mowed again today. Some collar areas that were sodded earlier in the year are not looking that great so we kept off them. As Brendan said probably some of the areas are not that bad, but we are trained to see it. In the afternoon greens received another cut with six mowers instead of the normal four. This helped speed up the mowers time. Fairways divots were filled and greens sprinkler heads cleaned up. A few mor

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

BMW NZ Open: Day 1

Tournament week is here. Players are arriving and playing The Hills, workers are getting the course finished set-up and we are putting the final touches to the course. Everything was mowed today, as will be till the end of the tournament, and bunkers/water races were fly mowed. In the morning I mowed collars and then helped Scott finish mowing tees. In the afternoon we made a large batch of divot sand. This is for the guys to fill divots on fairways and tees at night after play is finished.   

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

NZ Open Approaching + A Hike

With the NZ Open this week and having the day off I decided to walk up Tobin's Track to get some pictures of the course from above. This track takes about 30 mins, but little did I know this short hike would lead to a 4 hour trip. Yesterday the Motatapu was held. This is another off road Marathon, bike race, 51km and 15 km races. The 15 km race is the Miners 15k. This travels the Miners Trail a few hills behind Tobin's Track. I had not explored much behind Tobin's so I decided to check it out. I

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

The Hills Better in Pictures

Two weeks from today the first round of the New Zealand Open will tee off. Here are some pictures of the course prior to the tournament. We have just started cutting fairways to be burnt in over the next two weeks. I will try to take as many pictures of the course just before the start of the tournament with it in the best condition. Enjoy!   Hole #1     Don't or face Sir Michael Hill     Hole #2   Hole #3   Holes 1, 2, 3 Hole #4   Hole #5     Hole #6  

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

 

Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon 10KM

New Zealand has some of the most spectacular scenery hence why Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings, chose to film the movies here. I have done many of the hikes in Arrowtown and plan on hiking to the top of Ben Lomond. The views are incredible from the top. So when I heard about a race in the mountains I had to look into it.     Rob and I had planned on running the race together, but he went back home for a new job so I ran solo. The Queenstown Rafting 10KM took place Saturday

Peter Braun

Peter Braun

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